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Style & Living Million Dollar Listing New York

Ryan Serhant Reflects on His Life as a Hand Model Before He Got into Real Estate

The Million Dollar Listing New York agent said, "they would fly me to Miami to hold cell phones."

By Adele Chapin
Ryan Serhant

Before Ryan Serhant was selling multi-million dollar homes, he was a top model...of sorts. The Million Dollar Listing New York pro and fitness fanatic stopped by radio show “The Breakfast Club” yesterday, as noted by Page Six, where he talked about how he got his start in NYC — spoiler, it didn't have anything to do with real estate.

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Ryan stumbled into hand modeling (of all things!) when he first arrived in the city. "I was broke, man. I moved to New York City to act," Ryan told “The Breakfast Club” gang. "I thought it was going to be easy, it was not easy. I couldn't make any money. I hand modeled for a little while."

As it turns out, his "smooth, silky" hands were in demand for print ads. “I held phones for AT&T,” he said. “I was on billboards holding phones, literally, and little Nespresso capsules, and water dripping down my knuckles.” 

The job paid well too. "It was $150 per hour. It was the most money I ever made. It was awesome," Ryan said. "They would fly me to Miami to hold cell phones. This is my real life. There's nobody with hands in Miami? [They'd say] No, Ryan, you give the best hand jobs," he joked.

But hand model wasn't going to be his forever gig. "Hand modeling doesn't pay the bills forever and I didn't know what else to do," Ryan said. "A friend of mine was like: listen, it's the beginning of 2008, real estate is the biggest thing in the world."

The rest is history. "Here I am, 10 years later," he said. The New York real estate mogul has reminisced on his modeling career before: click here to read about how he got his "uniquely beautiful and slender pair of hands" got him his first gig.

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